Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

The Monk's Kettle

Not Rated.
The Monk's KettleThe Monk's Kettle
BA SCORE
95
world-class

71 Reviews
Reviews: 71
Visits: 114
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: n/a
Taps: 24
Bottles: 180
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

3141 16th St
San Francisco, California, 94103-3334
United States
phone: (415) 865-9523

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @monkskettle

Notes:
Place added by: NikStique on 12-07-2007

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 71 | Visits: 114
Photo of bbothen
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Located in the Mission, conveniently by the 24th st BART terminal.

First of all, this place is small. I think the max capacity is like 50. A couple small tables by the bar, and a few equally small tables in the dining area. Long bar with 12+ seats.

The beer selection is what brought me here. 24 taps of well thought out styles. Many hard to find brews. On my visit they had Avery Ale To The Chief, Dogfish Punkin, Moonlight Reality Czeck, Lagunitas Imperial Red,Sonoma Farmhouse Hop Stoopid, Allagash Curieux, & lots more. Impressive bottle list as well.

The food was fantastic as well. House made pretzels, local produce & meats, house made sauces, aoilis, etc & daily pot pie specials, and more. Everything I've had here has been great. No standard brewpub/pub menu here. The menu also suggests beer pairings for each item. AWESOME.

Service has been fine on my visits. Not overly welcoming, but fine.

If you love beer, and quality food made with quality ingredients. This is your place. If you love just beer, this is your place.

A fine addition to the SF beer scene. (1,077 characters)

Photo of waltonc
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Compared to other cities, San Francisco has a massive shortage of excellent beer bars. Thankfully, Monk's Kettle and City Beer Store popped up in the past couple years.

The atmosphere inside is pretty cool. They definitely spent a lot of money re-doing the space that was formerly occupied by Kelly's Burgers (a dingy burger joint to hit up late night after lots of drinks across the street at Kilowatt). Now there is a nice wooden bar with lots of taps, and the booths are pretty cool as well. Unfortunately, this space is often not large enough for the kind of business Monk's Kettle is running - a restaurant where folks can hang out after eating and just keep drinking. This results in a major clogging at the door. Every time I go, I seem to have to wait for at least an hour to get a table. As a result, I don't go here often.

The selection is very good. I didn't count them, but it looks like they've got around 25-30 beers on tap. I had a Dogfish Punkin, Allagash Curieaux, and Oaked Arrogant Bastard the other night. Very good variety.

Service: The people working here have always been very friendly each time I'm here. As noted above, my only ding is that you have to wait for ages before getting a table. Thankfully you can just order a drink and a soft pretzel from the bar while you wait.

I am not here often enough to explore the menu, so I always order their burger, which is quite good, even if not cooked the way you requested. And their fries are awesome.

Prices: very high. Perhaps to make up for what I imagine is pretty high overhead for such a small space. Overall, I'm fine with that because I understand SF is an expensive city to do business, and I'm glad to have a nice addition to the beer offerings here. (1,738 characters)

Photo of ChrisDotson
5/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I rarely will rate places being in the Industry but this is out of my market so i will give it a go. Man, what great food, ambience and selection. I drank 2 russian river sours (Temptation & Supplication) and had a really delicious pork chop cooked in a demi glace of figs. The menu was written concisely but completely in a beer geek effort to educate the masses on styles. They ran the whole gammit of styles from Belgian Whites and Bocks to American Wild Ales. If you are in the area definitely check this one out. You won't regret it. (538 characters)

Photo of ibbjamin
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went there with a group of four people this past weekend for a late lunch.

Was very impressed with their beer selections (go to their website to check them out). Our group tried the Petrus Old Bruin, Ellie's Brown Ale by Avery and Stone 12th Anniversary Ale. All were on tap. Their bottled selections were also superb.

This is definitely more of a lunch/small dinner atmosphere than a bar setting, but they did have a small bar as well. They had beer pairings with each menu item as well which was quite handy. The server seemed to be busy, but was very attentive and responsive. Service the entire time was very fast.

Food was actually really tasty. I had the skirt steak which was very flavorful and tender. My buddy had the chicken pot pie which was one of the best I've tried. Price was reasonable.

Highly recommended if you are in the Mission District of San Francisco! (879 characters)

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

First ill start off on the location of this place. Itis in a ghetto freakin part of San Fran and when i got off at the bart station, there were drug deals, prostitution, and people talking to themselves all in front of me. Never seen so much gow down all at once.

Any way despite all that it is actually kind of a nice place. Its wierd how in this area there are like nice places mixed in with the getto. there was a nice whine bar down the street as well. It seems like alot of "hipsters", as people on here like to call them on here, were eating there and that area has alot in general.

The service was good, our bartender was cool and giving us tasters of stuff and talking to us. He did talk about how he smokes weed all the time though and he also looked like a hipster.

Their food was pretty good, all of it being hipster organic food and what not but all in all this place seemed to cater towards the people that live in that area.

Cool place but not really somewhere to go out of the way for. (1,005 characters)

Photo of dougnboston
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I think a terrific people vibe. Shiny, not a dingey old bar, more upscale. Small, but I managed a seat at the bar.

Nice selection of beers. Any time I find Piraat on tap I'll take it. Tasted clean and fresh.

As noted by others the prices are high. Knowing La Trappe is near or heading over the bridge to Trappist ... I'd probably do either of those before the Monks Kettle. I do like a darker older looking bar, but it's more the prices that will keep me going to others. Some of our pours also seemed light. They may need to put fill lines on their wine glass they use when a proper glass isn't available.

Service was great. People seemed great. Again a terrific place with an above average selection, proper glasses and a beery crowd.

Enjoy the Monks Kettle. (766 characters)

Photo of largadeer
2.98/5  rDev -31%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Monk's Kettle is a mixed bag. Aesthetically it's pretty nice, lots of dark wood and marble, somewhat Euro looking. It's very small, and also quite popular, which makes things like sitting or even comfortably standing pretty much impossible.

The bar has about 25 taps, which are nicely split between local beers and imports. I see quite a bit of Moonlight and Russian River here, which is hard to complain about. What I can complain about are the prices, which are completely absurd. Expect to pay anywhere from $8 to $12 or more for beers that you can find at other local bars for literally half the price. They do have the occasional value beer, but it's rarely anything special.

The bottle list is pretty decent, and they've got a solid selection of vintage beers, but again, the prices are laughably high. I feel bad for anyone gullible enough to pay their prices.

Food is pretty good - trendy, expensive pub fare, largely organic and local. Nothing amazing, but always good. They also get a nod from me for keeping the kitchens open until 1 AM.

This spot seemed promising when they first opened, but I'm afraid it's been downhill since then. Best avoided, check out The Trappist in Oakland for a similar selection at better prices. (1,240 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This place is good. A nice small bar area and few tables with some nice pics on the bay area up on the wall. Quality of the beer s I tried was pretty good and I did not get a chance to try the food. Still, this place was pretty cool. About 16 drafts and quite a few bottles as well. Nothing I have not had before, but that is kinda bar for the course these days. They did have $21 1 oz samples of utopias which is kinda cool even though the markup is hardcore on the drafts and bottles. Seriously for 16th and mission the prices here are HIGH. The service was decent but kinda slow, but than again this place is brand new, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt, and give them some time. (693 characters)

Photo of chelovek
4/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The place opened up in December of 07 but they seem to have settled in quite nice already. It is a small place but it is definitely cozy and packed with quality. The tap and bottle selection is well thought out and is all top choice. Each bottled beer on the menu had a quip about the style and a recommended pairing was provided on the food menu for each plate. The bartender and staff were extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Proper glass where was provided for each beer, my Houblan Chouffe coming in the specific glass brought that extra little touch I always enjoy. Some beers were pricy some were very reasonable but the quality of the place in its entirety made it worth it. The food was pretty darn good as well, everything being very, very fresh. I have used the word quality a whole bunch of times in this review but I think that pretty much sums up the place, a high quality beer bar with an extremely well thought out selection with great service. A repeat place without a doubt and worth going your way out of to visit. Just two blocks walk from the bart 16th exit in The Mission so get off your lazy ass and check it out. (1,137 characters)

Photo of oggg
4.58/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

My wife and I visited on 12/26/07 for dinner.

Max capacity 49. Maybe 8 tables, the booths having hard wooden benches that killed my back and bum by the end of the night (I have issues -- I'm going to sit on a stool next time). The lighting is somewhat dim and intimate, with a candle at each table. The bar itself is a beautiful wooden one, behind which is a humongous display of beer and wine glasses and goblets. On either side of this shelf are these two tall wooden... shelf ends(?) that look like they were lifted from a Transylvanian ski lodge -- well, you'll have to see them for yourself. The place is beautiful. Oh yeah, one regular TV that was showing Derby vs Liverpool.

Our server, Nick, was great, although it looked like he was the only one covering all the tables. A nice touch was having a carafe of water at each table. No complaints here.

There are something like 24 taps and a whole mess of bottles. Prices are about right for most beers ($4-$4.75), although imported stuff seemed to skyrocket quickly. I expect the taps will rotate, as that will keep beer geeks coming in over and over (also, I can't stand Downtown Brown). Proper glassware in effect. My wife's Fullers London Porter was $6+ but automatically came in an imperial pint glass.

The menu looks pretty well thought out. It's quite varied and seems to have something for everyone. We got the charcuterie plate (perhaps a bit overpriced at $12) and the pulled pork sandwich (disappointing). We saw other people getting the potpie and it looked pretty good, so we are going to come back and try the burger and the potpie before we give up on the food.

Overall: At worst, it's a great beer bar with ok food, stuck in the gritty Mission. That's actually pretty damn good. We're definitely going back.
---
re-review
For selfish reasons, I wish this place were bigger and less busy. There's literally like 4 booths if you're thinking of bringing more than one person with you. Sure, groups can go to the bar, but fat chance that you'll get to sit at the bar with ~6 seats total. In the back there is a ledge that you can sit at, away from the bar and with barely any place to eat. Do not come here with more than one friend, and if you do, don't expect to hang out and drink, because they need those booths for dinner service. Again, this is all being a little selfish, and it's not really their fault, as I'm always looking for a beer hangout like O'Briens, whereas this really is a restaurant with space for singles and couples to have a beer. I do have to upgrade the value meter for the food -- 4 spears of asparagus, 4 slices of proscuitto, shredded cheese, and a wallet sized grilled salmon = $20. At $17.50, the lobster pot pie was chock full of huge lobster chunks, but still just a pot pie. The fries are probably the cheapest thing on the menu ($5); it's decently sized and comes with some good dipping sauces. The beer is excellent, with the option of half pints for some. Pliny the Elder is great, but I think that was their only IPA or DIPA on tap, unless you count Deschutes Cinder Cone. Btw, major kudos for having an updated tap list online. Again, prices can skyrocket for the Belgians.

Overall: Honestly, I might come back with one person for a beer and fries, but not if I have 3+ in my group, and not for dinner. (3,315 characters)

Photo of Murchmac
4.95/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

As foreigner sings "i've been waiting", i've been waiting for a beer joint like this to come into my life.

Went here for lunch today and knew it was going to be good just because I got parking right in front. If you're from out of town, bart goes two blocks away to mission and 16th, and the 14, 49 and 22 bus lines go right near it.

Walking into this classy place there are artsy pictures taken by the owner of bay area places and beyond (Sat near a picture of fenway park). The giant gothic/baroque bar piece backdrops the entire establishment. The wood is a very warm color and there are clean lines and very earthy themes throughout. The lamps on the bar are kinda cool along with a giant chalkboard to write what you want on.

Dress warm as the front door doesnt close all the way yet and it's kinda cold. Also, if you sit at a booth, the slats of wood that go over the bench can be uncomfortable after a while. The booths are pretty to look at though. I also love how under the bar there are hooks for your things.

On to the beer. It is an impressive list. Even 21 dollar, 1oz samples of utopia. They have many many local, national, and worldwide beers on tap and an extensive bottle list, explaining the style, the beers, prices, and abv. Everything from maredsous to olympia in a can. Many beers on nitro, which is mucho good.

Dont let the beer fool you, this is actually an organic, upscale, eatery, using local fresh ingredients with beer thrown in to compliment. All the food was amazing, and on the menu you were given a choice of 2-3 styles that pair well with that dish. I got the pan seared goat cheese with bruschetta and greens for an appetizer and a lobster pot pie for the main course. The food was better than the beer.

Overall this place kicks ass. It's a little expensive, I only got two beers, an appetizer and two meals and it was up around 60 bucks, but this place was well worth it. If you are near the area, you should go at least once. (1,973 characters)

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
The Monk's Kettle in San Francisco, CA
95 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.